Teachers consider each child’s development and growth and strive to create an environment that is responsive to each child, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. Each year is different as each group of children and each individual child is different, and as teachers plan curriculum consideration is given to the particular group of children in the classroom. To a certain extent it is true that the chronological age of the child dictates certain curriculum choices. However, the class dynamic as a whole, as well as the individual needs of children in the class, also inform the teachers’ planning as well as the choice of materials and activities. As a result, daily routines may be modified, room arrangements may be changed and particular curriculum strands will be developed.
The interests of the children may be somewhat based upon their developmental age, but teachers observe closely which themes and activities spark the creative and intellectual interest of children. Based upon these observations teachers plan classroom activities to enable children to delve deeply into an interest area. In this way, curriculum will vary: for example, one year a group made an in-depth study of dogs, but then later in the year they explored city buses. In another class the use of various art supplies resulted in a short-term exploration of how staplers can be used: both as a tool for connecting materials and as a tool to create a design, instead of a pencil or crayon, to create lines and shapes. In each case the role of the teacher is to plan individual, small group and large group activities that strengthen the class as a community and that strengthen each individual child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.